Launching Local Initiatives

There are few things more disheartening than to be ignored.

Mozilla has appointed Mozilla Reps to be “official representatives of Mozilla in their region/locale“. The Reps program is a collection of some of our most passionate and valued community members. If we then start initiatives in an area without looping them in, then we are effectively saying, even if we don’t mean to, that their position is unnecessary. And if we loop them in only when we need something, we are then saying that they are only as important as what we can get out of them.

I would like to suggest that involving the local community, in particular the Reps, in local initiatives is simply the Right Thing To Do, independent of whether they can be actively helpful (although often they can). If being the official representative of Mozilla in a region is to mean anything, surely it must mean that they find out about things that are going to happen on their patch.

So here’s my suggested rule of thumb:

Mozilla should not announce new initiatives in a particular region of the world without first informing, and ideally involving, the community leaders in that region.

And if we see this not happening, we should politely ask why.

If you are planning an initiative and wondering how to go about this, then there are at least three avenues:

  • Regional Discussion Forum – if there’s a discussion forum for that region, whatever you can say in public should be said here. If there are things you can’t say in public, like the names of particular un-announced partners, then say as much as you can and give a contact name for interested Mozillians to follow up.
  • Mozillians – search the Mozilla Community Directory for the name of the country or region. Each profile has an associated email address.
  • Reps – visit the reps list, click the hammer and spanner to bring down the advanced options, then pick a country from the middle dropdown. Each rep has contact details on their individual page.

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